Never let anyone doubt we took that vow seriously. (And don't call either of us Shirley;)
Both of us spent most of the wee hours of our 26th anniversary awake- and tending to Tasha, who's now only sleeping through the night until about 2 a.m., then needing hourly trips outside, an even earlier morning feeding, and post-feeding whining sessions that we don't understand whatsoever. She's just begun a new med that's promised to help (even with a money-back guarantee if she's not better after the 60-day supply runs out), but if there are 59 more nights like last night, someone will have to sign us both out of the loony bin in order to process the refund form.
Also, in keeping with our long history of personal injuries and household accidents on major holidays, Eleanor wound up playing Plumber again late this morning, since a previous fix of some hardwater-rotted pipes failed to hold. It's doing much better now, but nothing proves your love for your beloved and family more than lying in a prone position with your head looking up at rotten piping and four sets of Sidewalk Supervisor feet walking across yours while you try to do so.
(It's four, not five, since the dog that kept us up all night has of course been sleeping all day. Being annoying is hard work, yo.)
Still. I wouldn't change a thing for all the tea in China, or none of the pee near our back door. Our wedding service challenged us to build a home "that will endure," and 26 years on, now, we've done just that. Even when things break, and dogs bark. I love you, Eleanor- and all the friends reading this who we've brought into our lives:)